Those hoping to celebrate the start of the New Year and finish of the old can do so this evening at Grand Starz Hall, and help raise funds for a good cause in the process.

The New Year’s Eve party is being organized by the board for the Boys and Girls Club as an effort to raise funds and keep the doors open through 2010 for the not-for-profit club that provides after-school and summertime activities and supervision for children ages 6 to 18.

Though ticket sales have gone “pretty well,” according to Michael Richardson, vice president of the board, the party’s not sold out.

“We’ll have tickets at the door,” Richardson said. “We hope people will come out, join us and have a good time. This is the first time we’ve tried to do anything like this, but our financial situation is that we need to raise as much money as we can.

“If people can come out, have a good time and it raises money for Boys and Girls Club, then that’s great.”

The party will begin at 8 p.m. and continue until 12:30 a.m. New Year’s. Grand Starz Hall is located at 2323 Belle Plain Ave. Admission is $35 per person. “Border Town” will be providing the dance music.

Attendees may bring their own alcoholic beverages. Set-ups will be provided.

Nov. 1, board members for the local club announced that unless $100,000 could be raised by Dec. 18, the club would likely have to shut its doors. Richardson said approximately $25,000 had been raised, and that amount should be enough to keep the club running through May.

“We’re looking at every option,” Richardson said.

One such measure is to institute new charges of $20 per month for boys and girls who are involved in the club, and those charges will go into effect on Jan. 5.

The Boys and Girls Club of Brown County began its service 15 years ago and the club’s annual budget has grown to $225,000 a year. But a shortfall in funds that had traditionally come from grants and the United Way allotment, plus an unparalleled growth in numbers of attendees earlier this year spelled a near financial doom for the club.

According to an article printed in early November in the Bulletin, board member Lewis Locker said the club’s membership started growing significantly after it moved from old Lions Gym on Austin Avenue into the former South Elementary School facility between Avenues K and L in August 2006. The space available to serve young people went from 1,300 square feet to 12,712 square feet.

“Steadily, membership increased from 75 kids to over 550 kids, and daily attendance at the club jumped from an average of 38 kids per day to over 225 kids per day,” Locker said. “While these increases have served the needs of Brownwood families well, they have also put a tremendous strain on the club’s finances. The organization’s dire financial situation is partly the consequence of the economic recession which has made grant money scarce and reduced contributions.”